Giorgio Petrosyan (left) vs. Jo Nattawut (ONE Championship)

Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings: May 2018

As kickboxing continues to grow on a global scale with promotions like GLORY, K-1, Kunlun Fighting Championship and more, fighters are constantly jockeying for position in the eyes (and rankings) of the media.

Every month, Combat Press will rank each weight class from heavyweight to bantamweight, as well as the pound-for-pound rankings for both men and women.

The numbers in parentheses represent the fighter’s ranking from last month.


Heavyweight (95+ kilograms)
  1. Rico Verhoeven (1)
  2. Benjamin Adegbuyi (2)
  3. Mladen Brestovac (3)
  4. Andrey Gerasimchuk (4)
  5. Jamal Ben Saddik (5)
  6. Guto Inocente (6)
  7. Badr Hari (7)
  8. D’Angelo Marshall (8)
  9. Zabit Samedov (9)
  10. Ismael Londt (10)

No fighters in the top 10 were in action during the past month, so the rankings remain unchanged.

Light Heavyweight (95 kilograms)
  1. Artem Vakhitov (1)
  2. Pavel Zhuravlev (2)
  3. Saulo Cavalari (3)
  4. Igor Bugaenko (4)
  5. Luis Tavares (5)
  6. Zack Mwekassa (6)
  7. Mourad Bouzidi (7)
  8. Fabio Kwasi (8)
  9. Ariel Machado (9)
  10. Zinedine Hameur-Lain (10)

The lone member of the light heavyweight top 10 to step in the ring during April was fourth-ranked Igor Bugaenko, but his fight took place in the middleweight division. The Belarusian took former GLORY champion Artem Levin to the scorecards in a losing effort at ACB 15, but the result has no impact on his ranking in this division.

Middleweight (85 kilograms)
  1. Alex Pereira (1)
  2. Simon Marcus (2)
  3. Yousri Belgaroui (3)
  4. Jason Wilnis (4)
  5. Artem Levin (5)
  6. Israel Adesanya (6)
  7. Joe Schilling (7)
  8. Dustin Jacoby (8)
  9. Loren Javier Jorge (9)
  10. Hicham El Gaoui (10)

Russia’s Artem Levin has not been very active since parting ways with GLORY. However, every time he nears our threshold for inactivity, he returns for a vintage performance. At ACB 15, Levin captured the 85-kilogram title after five rounds with fourth-ranked light heavyweight Igor Bugaenko.

Welterweight (77 kilograms)
  1. Artur Kyshenko (1)
  2. Harut Grigorian (2)
  3. Murthel Groenhart (3)
  4. Alim Nabiyev (4)
  5. Cédric Doumbé (5)
  6. Nieky Holzken (6)
  7. Yoann Kongolo (7)
  8. Raymond Daniels (9)
  9. Yohan Lidon (8)
  10. Alexander Stetsurenko (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Karim Ghajji (10)

The welterweight rankings underwent some changes in the bottom half of the top 10 after April’s action. Bellator Kickboxing champion Raymond Daniels dominated his overmatched opposition, Djibril Ehouo, at the promotion’s ninth event in Hungary. Eighth-ranked Yohan Lidon surprisingly suffered a decision loss to Kamil Ruta at DSF Kickboxing Challenge 14, causing him to slide to ninth in the rankings and allowing Daniels to move up one spot to No. 8. Russia’s Alexander Stetsurenko re-enters the rankings in 10th after besting fellow GLORY veteran Jonatan Oliveira by decision at ACB 15. Stetsurenko’s inclusion pushes former Bellator titleholder Karim Ghajji outside the top 10.

Lightweight (70 kilograms)
  1. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (1)
  2. Marat Grigorian (2)
  3. Giorgio Petrosyan (4)
  4. Superbon Banchamek (3)
  5. Chingiz Allazov (5)
  6. Yodsanklai Fairtex (6)
  7. Endy Semeleer (7)
  8. Mohamed Mezouari (8)
  9. Davit Kiria (9)
  10. Buakaw Banchamek (10)

As always, the busiest division of the month was lightweight. One of the sport’s most accomplished fighters, Giorgio Petrosyan, ushered in ONE Championship’s foray into kickboxing by defeating Thailand’s Jo Nattawut by decision at Heroes of Honor. The win moves Petrosyan into the third spot in the rankings. Fifth-ranked Chingiz Allazov was also in action this month. Allazov stopped Claudiu Badoi at DUEL 3 in France to remain firmly planted in the rankings. Buakaw Banchamek bounced back from a recent loss to dominate Luis Passos at All Star Fight 3. The legend of the sport keeps the 10th spot in the rankings with the win.

Featherweight (65 kilograms)
  1. Qiu Jianliang (1)
  2. Robin van Roosmalen (2)
  3. Masaaki Noiri (3)
  4. Ren Hiramoto (4)
  5. Kaew Weerasakreck (5)
  6. Abdellah Ezbiri (6)
  7. Ilias Bulaid (7)
  8. Yang Zhuo (8)
  9. Hideaki Yamazaki (9)
  10. Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao (10)

April was a quiet month for the featherweights. Only eighth-ranked Yang Zhuo was in the ring. He defeated Alex Bublea at Wu Ling Feng 2018 in China. Zhuo keeps the No. 8 spot with the victory.

Bantamweight (less than 65 kilograms)
  1. Takeru (1)
  2. Koya Urabe (2)
  3. Wei Rui (3)
  4. Yoshiki Takei (4)
  5. Taiga (5)
  6. Gonnapar Weerasakreck (6)
  7. Haruma Saikyo (7)
  8. Nobuchika Terado (8)
  9. Tenshin Nasukawa (9)
  10. Kosuke Komiyama (10)

After the chaos that was March in our newest division, April only saw one fighter in action. Sixth-ranked Gonnapar Weerasakreck was in the ring at Krush.87, where he dominated Daizo Sasaki and claimed the 63-kilogram title on the scorecards. The Thai fighter keeps the No. 6 spot in the rankings.

  1. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (1)
  2. Marat Grigorian (2)
  3. Robin van Roosmalen (3)
  4. Giorgio Petrosyan (4)
  5. Artur Kyshenko (5)
  6. Takeru (6)
  7. Artem Vakhitov (7)
  8. Rico Verhoeven (8)
  9. Kaew Weerasakreck (9)
  10. Superbon Banchamek (10)

The fourth-ranked Petrosyan was the lone member of the top 10 to fight in April. His decision win in Singapore was more than enough to maintain his place in the rankings.

Women’s Pound-For-Pound
  1. Anissa Meksen (1)
  2. Jorina Baars (2)
  3. Denise Kielholtz (3)
  4. Jemyma Betrian (4)
  5. Tiffany van Soest (5)
  6. Wang Kehan (6)
  7. Anissa Haddaoui (7)
  8. Iman Barlow (8)
  9. Gong Yanli (-)
  10. Antonina Shevchenko (-)

Dropped from the rankings: Rena Kubota (9), E. Meidie (10)

The sport’s best women have some fresh faces after April’s competition. Second-ranked Jorina Baars continued her dominance at Bellator Kickboxing 9, where she stopped Athina Evmorfiadi in the second round. Third-ranked Denise Kielholtz fought at the same event, but it was under MMA rules. Eighth-ranked Iman Barlow defeated Yolanda Schmidt by decision at Naksso Female Fight Tour in Australia. Lion Fight 42 featured Antonina Shevchenko, who successfully defended her lightweight title against Claire Baxter. The win, coupled with E. Meidie’s move into coaching, results in two new fighters in the top 10. Gong Yanli claims the No. 9 spot, while the aforementioned Shevchenko earns the 10th spot.

Editor’s Note: Fighters are eligible to be ranked if they have competed in the last 18 months. Any fighter that chooses to switch weight classes will be ranked in their previous weight class until they have competed twice in their new division.